4 Things to Do Before Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

Christmas lights display on house lawn and roof
Before you hang Christmas lights outside, make sure it’s safe to do so. (DepositPhotos)

Want your home to have a beautiful Christmas light display? Then you need to keep safety in mind.

Follow these precautions before installing any holiday lights.


Electrician checking electrical box voltage
Have an electrician verify that you can hang Christmas lights. (DepositPhotos)

1. Get an Inspection

Before installing holiday lighting, hire an electrical contractor to inspect the property. This expert can determine if a building’s electrical system can withstand the use of numerous lighting fixtures.

The inspection will include checking the home’s electrical circuit box to prevent electrical fires. During this time, you also can have additional outlets installed inside or outside the home.

After all, you don’t want to blow a fuse and end up freezing midwinter!


Smoke detector
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so go ahead and add nearby smoke detectors before hanging Christmas lights.

2. Prep Your Home

Before installing lots of Christmas lights, make sure your home has fire-resistant roofing materials and siding.

Metal, clay and recycled rubber tiles, along with fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are some roofing materials to consider.

As for siding, masonry, fiber cement and treated wood are good options.

In addition, you need a smoke alarm inside the house, and you may also want to have automatic fire sprinklers available.

It’s also good to install outdoor cameras that monitor the display because then it will be possible to see what’s happening on the property.


Man on a ladder hanging Christmas string lights
You may be tempted to climb the ladder alone, but the buddy system’s always best. (DepositPhotos)

3. Find a Ladder Partner

To display rooftop Christmas lights and decorations, you need to climb a ladder, and this is often difficult and dangerous, especially during severe weather.

If you use a ladder, have a friend assist you and wear slip-resistant shoes. In addition, avoid all utility lines.

Installing lights on a roof is especially dangerous, so you may want to hire someone to help you, or to just do the job themselves.


Man in Santa hat hanging Christmas lights around chimney
Hang Christmas lights away from anything that could catch on fire. (DepositPhotos)

4. Get The Right Type of Lights

Only use string lights and other holiday displays designed for outdoor use. These items are labeled for use outside a building where there is more moisture.

Hang string lights away from combustible materials and make sure that larger electrical Christmas displays are stabilized to remain in place.

Finally, consider the cost of using holiday lights so you understand what your monthly bill will be for using the items.

You may want to choose energy-efficient Christmas light displays. There are solar-powered lights that are designed for the holiday season.

Just ask for them at your local holiday supply store!

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah.


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